“EIGE 2020 research evaluating progress towards gender equality 25 years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action suggests that the world of work in the EU remains characterized by a number of important gender inequalities (EIGE, 2020a). The employment rate of women is still significantly lower than that of men. The labor market remains highly segregated by gender and women tend to find themselves more often in temporary, part-time or precarious jobs. This contributes to significant gender gaps in pay and pensions. Such inequalities have particularly dire consequences for groups of vulnerable women, including younger and older cohorts, single mothers with dependent children, and those from migrant communities or other minority groups. Closing these gender gaps could generate significant long-term gains for the EU economy, amounting to 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050 (EIGE, 2017c). Inequalities often emerge in the unequal distribution of tasks and responsibilities within the family (EIGE, 2020a). In fact, most of the care activities fall on women and this limits their participation in the world of work .
This study shows that digitization continues to transform the EU labor market and represents a challenge and an opportunity for gender equality (see Chapter 9). Furthermore, the crisis due to covid 19 is likely to have enormous impacts on employment for both women and men, as can be read in the report.
The main EU policy priorities and actions related to gender equality in the labor market are outlined in the EU strategy for gender equality 2020-2025. The most relevant measures from the point of view of employment include a focus on the adequate transposition and implementation of work-life Balance Directive; support the provision of quality childcare and long-term care services using EU funding; a proposal to review the objectives set by the Barcelona European Council in 2002 to ensure further upward convergence on childcare in all Member States; address the priorities set in the European Pillar of Social Rights and monitor their progress in the European Semester, in particular through the indicators of the Social Scoreboard; development of guidelines for member states on how to national tax and benefit systems influence incentives for second workers to work; the introduction of targeted measures to promote the participation of women in innovation, including a pilot project to promote female startups; and addressing gender segregation in the context of the digital transformation of the labor market (see Chapter 9).
The chapter concludes that overall progress has only slightly reduced the gender employment gap. This gap was 12 pp in 2018 compared to 13 pp in 2010. The share of women working part-time continues to be much higher than the equivalent figure for men (of 23 pp), with a marginal improvement over the last decade . This slow progress in closing the gender gap is linked, as mentioned above, to the disproportionate share of care responsibilities borne by women. In 2018, 32% of women were inactive at work because they were engaged in looking after their children and family, a share that has grown by over 4 p.p since 2010, less than 5% of men inactive for the usual reason.” Read more….